A Virginia probate lawyer guides executors and family members in making sure the wishes of the deceased are respected after a death has occurred. Probate is the formal court process used to determine the validity of a will and to facilitate the transfer of assets after death. The process can be complicated, but a Virginia trusts and estates lawyer provides assistance in making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible so beneficiaries can inherit quickly and so the affairs of the estate will be wound up correctly.
- Marshalling Assets
- Marshalling Property
- Personal Representative
- Probate Planning For Same-Sex Couples
- What to Expect
- Intestacy Process
Necessity of Virginia Probate Lawyer After Death
Most estates will need to go through the probate process. During this process, paperwork must be filed with the court. Creditors must be notified of the death and provided the opportunity to make claims. In some cases, an official valuation process must occur to determine the worth of the estate. An assessment must be made to determine if taxes need to be paid. Opportunities exist for a will to be challenged, and the veracity and legitimacy of the deceased’s will must be demonstrated.
These are just a few of the many steps that are a part of the probate process. Because many executors are family members or friends of the deceased without formal legal experience, hiring a probate attorney in Virginia may be necessary to facilitate a smooth process in probate court.
When probate becomes more complex, especially in situations where a will is challenged, there is business succession to be considered, or where estate taxes must be paid, hiring a Virginia probate lawyer becomes especially important. When the deceased has not left behind a will, having a lawyer is also essential so a trusted estate administrator can be appointed and so the assets of the deceased can be passed on according to intestacy laws.
Probate Process in Virginia
The specifics of the probate process can vary significantly depending upon whether there is a valid will, whether anyone is contesting the will, the size of the estate, and whether beneficiaries agree on the disposition of shared assets.
The executor is responsible for actually getting the process underway and filing appropriate paperwork with the Virginia Circuit Court in the county or the city where the deceased lived. The executor must also take control over the deceased’s assets, complete an inventory of the estate, file the inventory with the Commissioner of Accounts, publish notice of the death so creditors may make claims, and give written notice of probate to heirs and beneficiaries. If a will is to be challenged, potential beneficiaries must act quickly to assert claims and raise objections, which is why it is valuable to retain a Virginia probate lawyer early on.
Executors have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the deceased, the heirs, and beneficiaries. Living up to the responsibility of serving as an executor can be a challenge, but having the right legal help can make all the difference.There are a number of different ways in which an individual can qualify to serve as the executor or personal representative of an estate in Virginia. However, the nature of the proceedings, the type of probate, and the length of administration will be dependent on the nature of the assets, the amount of the assets, and whether or not the individual died with a last will and testament.
There are a number of different ways in which an individual can qualify to serve as the executor or personal representative of an estate in Virginia. However, the nature of the proceedings, the type of probate, and the length of administration will be dependent on the nature of the assets, the amount of the assets, and whether or not the individual died with a last will and testament.
How a Virginia Probate Lawyer Can Help
As soon as your loved one has passed away, or as soon as you have been named an executor or administrator of an estate, you should take steps to get a knowledgeable advocate to advise you. Contact a Virginia probate lawyer today to learn more about how you can benefit from qualified legal advice throughout the probate process or even in the process to avoid probate.